The Kamloops Longboarding Club Incorporated (KLC) hosted their annual Skate Sun Peaks event this past weekend, creating a safe space for novice and experienced longboarders alike to learn and compete. With over 40 competitors the event saw athletes travelling from across Canada to participate in the timed raced competition.
The competition was held on the Mountain Cross Cart course providing competitors with a unique opportunity. Kamloops Longboarding Club vice president William Chung explained on typical courses the slope is flat where Sun Peaks’ course provides a track paved to the grade of the hill.
“Every corner is off camber and when you’re sliding you pick up speed as you’re going through the corner whereas on a normal hill you would slow down as you slide. This one is definitely a lot more technical and requires a lot more skill in sliding and being able to control through corners,” said Chung.
Looking to promoting the sport and get young people involved the KLC opened the course Saturday for a free ride day and then held two separate competitions on Sunday, June 10.
“The first one we’re going to do time trials, so getting down the hill as fast as you can, as cleanly as you can,” said Chung. There’s also going to be the ‘Best Trick’ and ‘Best Line’ through the top section, so best combination of tricks.”
With just three years of skating under his belt, 15-year-old Emerson Corduff was the youngest competitor taking on the Skate Sun Peaks competition this past weekend.
“It’s amazing to see the progress on that kid,” said Chung.
Corduff was focused on speed looking to complete the course in one minute and 30 seconds rather than going for style points.
“It’s the most challenging (course) I’ve ever done. The corners are super weird and tight and the tires hurt, “ said Corduff.
He said the older competitors have all taught him something and added it’s pretty fun seeing them skate.
“They give me a lot of pointers. Like more weight on your front foot, slide earlier, stuff like that,” he explained.
One of those advisors was Troy Grenier (who took home first place in this weekend’s event), a 10 year veteran of the sport. He has travelled to Sun Peaks the past few years to take part in the event.
Echoing Corduff’s sentiments Grenier explained it isn’t the layout they see on most longboard competition tracks.
“The switchback corners are great. They’re all varying corners and different degrees, each corner is different set up makes you learn how to adapt to the corners and the different styles of riding,” explained Grenier.
As an experienced long boarder, Grenier said he expected about 10 competitors to battle it out for the top spot in the speed trials, each pushing to complete the course in a minute or less. He recognized that for many the event is about having fun and learning so that’s why having a day of free riding before the competition is helpful.
“Opening this up for free rides makes more people want to come out and ride because they get more runs, have a safe environment to do it in, they’re not required to have a leather suit that makes them go faster or keep up with the big boys,” said Grenier.
The KLC has been an active club in Kamloops for the past 10 years and has recently been incorporated which will allow them to grow, to provide lessons for youth in the future and hopefully expand the Kamloops Longboard Park by adding a beginner run later this year.